A story from The Dash... Making a Difference with Your Life
Barbara Glanz is a speaker, author and also a good friend. One of her favorite quotes from Albert Schweitzer is: "Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light."
When Barbara speaks, she will ask her audience to shut their eyes and to think about someone who at some time in their lives has rekindled their inner light. She will leave the room in silence for several minutes, and it is always a profound experience for everyone as they remember the JOY they received from the appreciation of someone when they needed it the most.
Afterwards, she'll ask them to write down the name of the person they thought of and to commit to their own act of appreciation by letting that person know in the next 72 hours that they thought of them. She'll suggest a phone call, a note, or even just a little prayer if they are no longer alive.
After one very moving session, a gentleman came up to talk with her and thank her for creating a new awareness in him. He said he had thought of his eighth grade literature teacher because she was everyone's favorite teacher and had really made a difference in all of their lives, and he was going to track her down and let her know what happened.
One afternoon nearly two and a half months later, Barbara received a call from him. He was very emotional on the phone and could hardly get through his story. He said that it had taken him nearly two months to track his teacher down, and when he finally found her, he wrote to her and the following week this was the letter he received back:
You will never know how much your letter meant to me. I am 83 years old, and I am living all alone in one room. My friends are all gone. My family's gone. I taught for 50 years and yours is the first "thank you " letter I have ever gotten from a student. Sometimes I wonder what I did with my life. I will read and reread your letter until the day I die.
He sobbed on the phone. He said,"Every reunion we've had, she is always the one we talked about. She was everyone's favorite teacher - we loved her!"
But no one had ever told her...until she received his letter.*
Never forget...it is not the things you get, but the hearts you touch that will determine your success in your Dash.
"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."
*© Barbara Glanz Communications, Inc. 2003. All rights reserved.